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Regrets

Regrets

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Published by dlee7067
We all have regrets as we live life. What do we do about them, that is the question. They can break us if we allow it. That we cannot do. We find in the Bible those who had regrets. We can learn from their experience.
We all have regrets as we live life. What do we do about them, that is the question. They can break us if we allow it. That we cannot do. We find in the Bible those who had regrets. We can learn from their experience.

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Published by: dlee7067 on Mar 14, 2009
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06/16/2009

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Regrets
While it would be wonderful to live a life of no regrets there are few if any of us thathave or will. By the time one reaches old age, and generally a long, long time before onecan look back at his life and see things he wishes he had done differently. These thingsmay relate to about any area of our life. I think it would do us some good to look back atsome of the Bible's famous men and see if they had any regrets. By doing so it may giveus a degree of strength to go on and not give up.Adam was the very first man, our great ancestor. There is no doubt but what this manhad deep regrets. He once lived in a paradise on earth and had an unending life ahead of him having free access to the tree of life. For food all he had to do was reach up and pluck it from the tree on which it grew. There was no need to store it or do hard labor for it, for it was always going to be there. God walked with him in the garden and thus for atime he had full fellowship with God. Adam gave it all up.Do you not think while he was toiling the soil by the sweat of his brow fighting the thornsand thistles and realizing his destiny was to but become dust himself, that he must die,and that he had also brought this same destiny upon his children, that he was responsiblefor what they would have to go through, that he often looked back on how it once wasand deeply regretted what he had done?Samuel was a great man of God. I do not recall a single passage that speaks ill of Samuel. He was God's man and judged Israel all the days of his life (1 Sam. 7:15) and,furthermore, he was a prophet of God ((1 Sam. 3:20). In the New Testament we find himlisted in the book of Hebrews, chapter 11, along with others in what one might call faith'sall of fame. And, yet, we find this. "Now it came to pass when Samuel was old that hemade his sons judges over Israel." (1 Sam. 8:1 NKJV) And then a little later we find this,"But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes,and perverted justice." (1 Sam. 8:3 NKJV)Do you not think this grieved Samuel greatly? The thought comes naturally to mindwhen a child goes wrong where did I fail, where did I go wrong in raising him or her?There is possibly no other regret that cuts deeper than this one. We think to ourselves if Ihad just done this or that differently. We blame ourselves. I failed my child or mychildren.I do not claim Samuel sinned in the way he raised his family for I have no way of knowing but I do believe every parent will blame himself or herself to an extent and haveregrets. When one looks back in time there were a number of great men of God whocould not have qualified to be an elder in the church in the New Testament era, one of therequirements being "having faithful children" (Titus 1:6 NKJV), due to the kind of livesone or more of their children lived.David was another great man of God. Here is what God thought about David after hisdeath, speaking of King Abijam, the scripture says, "his heart was not wholly true to the
 
Lord his God, as the heart of David his father." (I Kings 15:3 ESV) And then in the latter  part of verse 4 of the same chapter we read, "David did what was right in the eyes of theLord and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life,except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite." (1 Kings 15:4b ESV) He also is listed in faith'shall of fame in Hebrews 11 verse 32. Certainly, we all expect to see David in heaven.Yet, David had occasion for regret in his life. Yes, the most obvious was committingadultery with Bathsheba and having Uriah her husband murdered. No doubt he looked back on that occasion many times in his life with deep regret. Not only had he done thisgreat evil it also brought with it great consequences resulting in much harm down theroad to others. Hear the words of Nathan the prophet, "Now therefore the sword shallnever depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. Thus says the Lord, 'Behold, I will raise up evil againstyou out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them toyour neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.'" (2 Sam. 12:10-11ESV)What was the evil that came down the road? Absalom, a son whom David loved,murdered another son of David – Amnon. Awhile later Absalom sought to take thekingdom away from his father and even have his father put to death. David had to flee tosave his own life. In a battle that brought defeat to Absalom, David commanded those incharge of his army, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom." (2 Sam. 18:5ESV) You know the story of how in disobedience to David's orders Joab killed Absalom.You also remember the deep grief David suffered over this.The Bible says when David learned of Absalom's death he was deeply moved and wept."O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, OAbsalom, my son, my son!" What sorrow, what regret. Had David not brought this uponhimself by his sin? Much like Adam he could look back with deep regret over his sins. Ithad cost him dearly and resulted in much harm to others he loved deeply. To me theBible is clear that had David pursued a different course in his life with regards to Uriahand Bathsheba the life of his own family would have turned out differently. Solomonlater had another son of David's put to death – Adonijah. Prophecy was most certainlyfulfilled.Sin can have deep consequences in this life not only for ourselves but also for those welove and care about. It is not as we sometimes hear "my life" and no one else's business.There are always consequences for good or ill for others in our acts or lack thereof. But,the subject is regret. There is no doubt about regret being in David's life as he thought onthese things in reflection from time to time.In the New Testament we also find great men of God who no doubt had regret. We canreadily name two – Paul and Peter. Paul said he was "not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." (1 Cor. 15:9 NKJV) Elsewhere he calls himself the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). I believe there is every reason to believe that Paul wasat the least indirectly responsible for the deaths of some Christians. When Stephen was
 
stoned to death the Bible says "Saul was consenting to his death." (Acts 8:1 NKJV) InActs 22:4 (NKJV) Paul says, "I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and deliveringinto prisons both men and women". Paul says the persecution was "to the death". Onewonders how many mothers were in the group of those who were persecuted leavingchildren as orphans. Do you think Paul had regrets? Do you think those regrets ever completely passed from his thoughts as he lived day to day?Peter's case is too well known to recount here but we are all well aware of his regrethaving denied Jesus just at the time when Jesus could have used support the most.A lesser known case is that of James and John. Do you remember when Jesus washeading to Jerusalem how he sent messengers before him and as they came to a village of the Samaritans they refused to receive him? James and John respond by saying to theLord, "do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them"?(Luke 9:54 NKJV) Jesus responds by saying, "You do not know what manner of spirityou are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives but to save them."(Luke (:55-56 NKJV) As you know James was killed not long after the church wasestablished, but John lived a long life. Do you not think that John looked back withregret when he thought about the kind of man he once was, a man willing to bring aboutthe death of others? He is known as the apostle of love and yet there was this in his life,the very opposite of love. It had to hurt as he looked back. There had to be regret.Then there was the other time when James and John came to Jesus asking that they mightsit, "one on your right hand and the other on your left, in your glory." (Mark 10:37 NKJV) There would have been no problem with this if it had not been for leaving othersout seeking only glory for themselves. The Bible says, "when the ten heard it, they beganto be greatly displeased with James and John." (Mark 10:41 NKJV) In time to comeJames and John could look back and regret the attitudes they once had.We have seen enough examples to make the point. There is often in even the best of menthings they look back on with regret. Things they wish they had done differently,attitudes and actions they very much regret or things they wish they had done but didn't.These are things that can drag us down and destroy us if we allow it – a deep inner regretand sorrow that clings to us and will not seem to abate.When I look at you or you look at me we think we know the person we are seeing if wehave been acquainted with them for any length of time. That is often not the case. We donot know the inner man and the sorrow he or she may be carrying everyday of his/her life. Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:11 (NKJV), "For what man knows the things of a man exceptthe spirit of the man which is in him?" There may well be a very deep regret withinothers that we know not of and cannot see, a burden that is carried everyday.Sometimes we see those who are overly righteous so to speak. They feel they have ledexemplary lives and perhaps their sins have not been as great as that of others except for one thing – their attitude. One is reminded of the two men who went up to pray, the one aPharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee prayed thanking God he was not like

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